Perhaps relevant is an observation by the American writer Henry David Thoreau that a farmer doesn't own a farm, the farm owns him. That is a concise characterization of the condition of serfdom. It is a condition he rejected.
Slavery and serfdom differ only in that a serf is attached to a specific parcel of land. Serfdom was common practice throughout Europe for thousands of years that we know of, and probably extending into prehistory.
Slavery was common practice in Africa as late as 1937 that I know of, and for all I know, may still be.
"Amidst the debate over the relative pricing of Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One, one element of interest is the cost of producing the consoles themselves, and what that means for the two console giants. A teardown by IHS iSuppli has estimated the cost of the parts of a PlayStation 4, and revealed that the console’s hardware is close to the cost of the console itself.Exploded View (Console)
"The last generation of Microsoft and Sony’s hardware was initially based on the razor and blade model: the hardware was sold at a loss, with the intention of recouping money on licensing fees and first-party software sales. Over time, the cost of parts and of manufacturing dropped: the PlayStation 3, which was estimated at launch to be losing up to $300 per unit for Sony, had trimmed the disparity down to $31.27 with the PlayStation Slim in 2009.
"That gap has been narrowed further in the PlayStation 4, not least by the use of more recognizably PC-based parts, rather than the PS3′s powerful but weird Cell processor, designed by Sony in partnership with IBM and Toshiba. IHS iSuppli, having totted up the parts costs, has come up with a total of $372, with an estimated $9 labor cost bringing it to $381 – $18 below the recommended retail price."
I agree about office software. Microsoft's office "productivity" software was as elaborate as it should be two decades ago, and since then has been getting worse. The way to go from there is exemplified by Firefox, Blender and many other packages -- You build the basic framework and provide the means for others to add extensions, and they download or create the extensions they need.
But over the next twenty years or so, computers should overtake human intelligence, and even the idea of an office or a job will be pretty much obsolete. Quantum computing should facilitate that advance.
Oh, and did I mention nanotechnology? Manufacturing will to a large extent go back to being a cottage industry, and the very structure of "society" will undergo radical change. Already people are talking about and building "3D printers"; that is only a beginning.
So, yeah, big changes are coming. Microsoft is already looking pretty quaint, and it's doubtful that it will play a dominant role in any future trends.
No. Some ideas are more fundamental than others. Microsoft has made no fundamental advances, only elaborated upon advances due to others, mostly known before Gates was born.
The basic ideas were already in place back then. What's happening now is variations on a theme.
Make no mistake, though, there are big changes to come: quantum computing, strong AI.
He says he was joking, but actually he was right.
Horsepucky. Nokia was already in trouble, but Elop completely wrecked it. Possibly as a side effect, but perhaps intentionally, Nokia's pps went south, so Microsoft can pick it up for a song. Much good may it do them.
An unsuccessful attempt at "μSoft". The Greek "mu" (often used as an abbreviation for "micro") corresponds to the Roman "m", not a "u".
Knowing this may put me in the market for a PS4. Just as Playstations have previously been the basis for home-brew "supercomputers", so may PS4's and their successors. Sony will no doubt try to prevent that, as their hope for profitability lies in selling software, i.e. games, to run on their hardware. Also no doubt someone will make a mint selling the hardware openly for its highest and best use, and that will be yet another nail in Microsoft's coffin.
Standard operating procedure for Microsoft, going back a couple of decades probably. I.e. Microsoft always accuses others of what Microsoft itself is the most guilty of. You could use that as a predictive indicator, guessing that what Microsoft is saying about others is what Microsoft has under development.
The word "slave" originally meant a person of Slavonic extraction. (Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slave" is also known as "Slavonic March".) Slavonic people were familiar to western Europeans primarily as captives being transported from Asia to Africa for forced labor in Africa. So yes, basically a "slave" is a member of an Asiatic race.
Microsoft actually had early entries in the mobile space, which should have given them first-mover advantage, but they didn't sell. Why not? Maybe they were trying to "prove" that nothing could compete with their desktops. In any case, they were just wrong for a mobile form factor. Arguably they were wrong in all the same ways that MS Office is wrong even on a big screen, but doing it on a small screen made it worse.